You spend up to 80 percent of your waking hours on your feet, and each day your feet absorb over 2,265,000 kilograms of accumulated pressure. So it’s no wonder that, from time to time, your feet end up in a world of hurt. Virtually anything can cause foot pain, including shoes that don’t fit, diseases like arthritis and diabetes, and poor circulation.
For a refreshing and stimulating treat for the feet, fill one basin with cold water and another with water as hot as you can comfortably stand. Sit in a comfortable chair, and place your feet in the cold water. After 5 minutes, switch to the hot water. Repeat. This “hydromassage” alternately dilates and constricts blood vessels in your feet, boosting circulation.
In health-food stores, you can buy a roller specially designed to massage the soles of the feet. Or you can simply roll your bare foot over a tennis ball, golf ball, or rolling pin for several minutes.
Scatter a few pencils on the floor, and pick them up with your toes. This little exercise helps relieve foot ache.
Wrap a thick rubber band around all the toes on one foot. Spread your toes and hold the stretch for five seconds. Repeat 10 times to relieve shoe-bound feet.
Heel pain, especially in the morning, may signal plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tough band of tissue that connects your heel bone to the base of your toes. To get relief, stretch the Achilles tendon. Stand about one metre from a wall. Place your hands on the wall, and move your right leg forward, knee bent. Keep your left leg straight, with your heel on the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in your heel and foot arch. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Apply an ice pack to the sore heel for about 20 minutes three times a day.